Copper Theft On The Rise
It's an unlikely crime that could be happening right underneath your nose. You might want to keep an eye on your drainage gutters and air conditioning unit because for thieves, it's just as good as gold.
The value of copper has sky-rocketed. Last year it hit and all-time high of four dollars a pound - that's compared to sixty cents a pound just five years ago.
Police say many burglars see copper as a ticket to quick cash and some go to great lengths to get their hands on this expensive scrap metal. Thieves are also stealing wires right off the power lines. But if the electrician has already energized the wiring, it's a fatal situation. The thief is instantly electrocuted. Police say often times the motive is drugs.
"People aren't stealing materials like copper and tools because they think they're going to get rich. They're doing it for the immediacy of cash," says Lt. Keith Kameg of the Gainesville Police.
Whatever the reason, it's becoming a costly problem for contractors. Because of these thefts, contractors say they're forced to go to great lengths to secure the perimeter of their job sites. But its the price they have to pay to keep their goods safe.
Police say it's not just construction sites being targeted. You have to be on guard at your house too. Keep an eye on your Air conditioning unit, gutters, telephone lines, and aluminum siding on your home. They're all popular targets for thieves.
By Thalia Hayden, WCJB TV20 News.